Nadal crushes Zverev; Spain reaches semis

Rafael Nadal

With Rafael Nadal nervously cheering courtside after winning his match earlier Sunday, David Ferrer sealed Spain's 3-2 comeback win over Germany in the Davis Cup quarterfinals with a thrilling five-set victory against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Nadal is aiming to clinch his 23rd straight rubber and set the record for the longest Davis Cup winning streak, combining singles and doubles rubbers.

The victory meant Spain finished 1-1 with Germany overnight following the opening victory by Alexander Zverev, who produced a composed performance to defeat David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

In Genoa, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert put defending champions France 2-1 up against Italy with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli.

"The first set was fantastic", Nadal said.

Nadal will make his return from injury when Spain take on Germany in the Davis Cup. "He also added, "'It could be one of my last times (for Spain in Davis Cup), I am aware of it as I am 36 years old and not a top ten player anymore".

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Nadal, building up to an assault on what he hopes will be an 11th French Open title in May and June, said it had been a special day playing on home ground again.

The hip injury that forced Nadal, 31, out of the Australian Open in January hasn't totally subsided, but one wouldn't have guessed it after he notched an impressive straight-sets win over Kohlschreiber on Friday.

Feliciano López and Marc López fought gallantly after losing the first two sets, drawing level in a marathon match of over four-and-a-half hours, but Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff eventually sealed a shock 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 victory.

"But I am excited to be back - hopefully it will be a positive week for me". "We got a bit lucky but it feels great".

Croatia will host the United States in the other semifinal in September, after Cilic thrashed Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in Varazdin.

The US was the only team to progress without losing a rubber, after Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison's doubles win over Belgian debutants Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen Saturday.

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